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Title: Caste, kinship and marriage : a study of two Gujarati trading castes in England.
Author: Michaelson, Maureen.
Awarding Body: School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London)
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1983
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This thesis describes how structural and ideological differences between two expatriate castes leads to differences in their ties to India and in their patterns - of marriage alliance. In Part I, the boundaries and patterns of association within the UK East African Gujarati population are described, as are the histories and the associations of the Lohanas and the Oshwals. The central theoretical focus is a change in perspective in the study of caste away from problems of definition and of looking at named and closed entities, to focussing on the operational processes within the Hindu hierarchical framework. The systemic processes of caste which determine status preservation, status group formation and ranking, still link the expatriate castes to the caste system in India: they also show why castes have not disappeared in modern India. Endogamy as a principal definition of caste is re-examined in the light of the same operational processes which have the effect of altering the composition of intermarrying groups within the caste hierarchy. Part II deals with questions of kinship and of 'alliance' in North India. Household composition and the relations between kin and affines in the urban setting are described. The Lohanas and the Oshwals are indisputably 'Northern' castes. The Lohanas' ideology of hypergamy leads to hidden alliance between bilaterally related kin, and affinity persists among them in the terminology and in asymmetrical exchanges between affines. The Oshwals have an ideology of isogamy and practice direct and restricted exchange. While their alliances are thus overt, Oshwals cannot be classified according to conventional descriptions of North Indian kinship because they lack asymmetric exc~ges and terminological distinctions between wife-giver and wife-takers. Their use of the terminology, ideology and marriage practice makes them akin to so-called 'South' Indian systems.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Oshwals; Lohana Anthropology Folklore Sociology Human services